KATIE GOODRICH/ NEWS CO-EDITOR
Butler University Information Technology released free Microsoft programs three days before students moved back to campus.
The Microsoft Office 365 ProPlus package includes the latest versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint for either Mac or PC.
Students can download the Microsoft programs on five devices and sync them on five mobile devices through their Butler email account.
Full and part time students have access, as long as they are active students.
“Office is something we have wanted to make further discounted or free,” said Kirk Young, IT technical services coordinator. “It’s just not been a possibility in the past.”
The Butler bookstore offers a discount through JourneyEd, a company that sells academic hardware and software.
Through this company, Mirosoft Office will cost $80 for a four-year subscription. Buying the programs Butler is offering through the Microsoft website costs nearly $400. All Butler-owned computers run these same programs. The licensing contract came up for renewal this summer.
Through discussions, IT also made Microsoft programs available to all students.
IT settled the terms in mid-July and announced the programs would be available by posting on the main page of BUmail, the Butler Connection and through their social media accounts.
Daniel Whalen, a freshman, downloaded Microsoft Office for free after he moved in.
“It was a nice surprise,” he said. “I think it is very generous of the school. I know Microsoft is really expensive.”
The access will expire when a student graduates or leaves the university.
“I think it’s great because it gives students a greater ability to collaborate during their time at Butler,” Young said. “It also helps students prepare for whatever comes after their time at Butler. You are going to have experience with the two major productivity platforms.”
Kyle Belting, a senior, bought the programs from the Apple Store when she initially bought her laptop for school.
She split the $150 cost with two other people, who also downloaded the programs.
Belting said she is over the fact she bought the program, but would be upset if she was a sophomore.
“I do think it’s a really good idea,” she said. “Especially having a Mac that doesn’t come with those programs, it made the transition easier. (Microsoft) is just more universal.”
Updates made through Microsoft will be available for students if they come about.